Freedom for the ‘Reykjavik 9’!
“The trial of the ‘Reykjavik 9’ is an attempt to criminalise retroactively Iceland’s democratic protests in 2008 and thus depoliticise them. The defendants include Solveig Jonsdottir, the leader of Attac,” said Andrej Hunko, Member of the German Bundestag, regarding the trial of the nine Icelandic activists. “The charges are based on the accusation of an ‘offence against Parliament’. This can mean up to life imprisonment, and carries a minimum sentence of one year’s imprisonment,” explained Mr Hunko, a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
It was the determined mass protests in December 2008, known as the “saucepan revolution”, which finally forced the resignation of the conservative government, which was embroiled in the banking scandal. Two days before the blockade of Parliament at the heart of the current trial, 15-year-old Alexis Grigoropoulos was shot dead by the police in Greece. Across Europe, social movements had taken to the streets.
“The charge of an ‘offence against the Icelandic Parliament’ has only been resorted to once in Iceland’s history: in 1949, when demonstrators opposed Nato accession. This demonstrates the political nature of this clause.
“However, the blockade of Parliament led to elections and political change. Instead of the accused now being threatened with prison sentences, tribute ought to be paid to their political activism,” Mr Hunk continued.
“Furthermore, since 2005 Mark Kennedy, the recently unmasked spy for the British police, had been targeting the Icelandic activists who went on to participate in the peaceful revolution. The cross-border deployment of undercover agents which has now come to light represents, in my views, a coordinated, Europe-wide campaign targeting social movements. For this reason, I have today written to Icelandic parliamentarians and the Ministry of the Interior informing them about the parliamentary initiatives in Germany regarding the illegal undercover operation involving Mark Kennedy and proposing a dialogue,” Mr Hunko said in conclusion.